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Sweetheart Cruise Down The Booneslick


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#1 rudkipon66

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:24 PM

On February 17 and 18 six cruisers from St. Louis, Kent and Mary Sue Sanderson, Carolyn Hasenfratz, Quinn Grimes, Natalie Kay and myself brave the elements to take the old Booneslick Road and old US 40 from St. Charles, MO to Boonville, MO. The Booneslick Road was a conduit between the old National Road and the Santa Fe Trail, which began in St. Charles, MO and ended in New Franklin, MO.

The Cruise started out at 9:30 a.m. at the Southeast Corner of the old St. Charles County Courthouse, at the marker commemorating the start of the Booneslick Trail. The weather was slightly ominous, complete with blowing and drifting snow, but hey, we aren’t armchair roadies, are we???
From the Courthouse, we connected with the Booneslick Road, passing the old Western Motel and the Booneslick Inn. From there we cruised through St. Charles County, enduring the pox of suburbia before passing through the cute burg of Cottleville on CR N, and then passing through some fine scenery in the west part of the county.
We trudged forward through the snow on CR MM to Warrenton. The Booneslick Road went right down mainstreet Warrenton, a fine little place with an old movie house. We rounded the “new” courthouse, to find, right across the street, the dome of the old one; a strange site to say the least!.
Just west of Warrenton, the Booneslick Road connected with Old US 40. We followed the route west to Jonesburg along I-70. Jonesburg has a neat little downtown and a place called Frumpy Joes, an eclectic eatery where “the locals eat”. Downtown Jonesburg is also home to a fine little saloon that Kent highly recommends for their “home put together hamburgers”.
From Jonesburg we crossed over I-70 on “Spur CR Y” (thats a new one)to the North Outer Road for I-70. Once on the North Outer Road, we reconnected with Old US 40 and cruised to High Hill. High Hill gives new meaning to “the place that time forgot.” Enroute into High Hill you pass the old Stuckeys and Nickerson Farms that used to be mainstays along Interstates across the Country. The condition of the old Nickerson Farms clearly indicates that its day as a “mainstay” has long since past. When we got to High Hill, we passed a sign that said “Historic Town for sale”, and an old Deli/antique store that Kent and Mary Sue recommended. Alas, the place has been out of business since October, 2005.
From High Hill we cruised west on Old US 40 (North Outer Road), passing the great purple water tower in New Florence. The route passes a mile or two south of New Florence, but if you are passing through and you are hungry, you might want to check out Maggies, an old school truck stop restaurant, right on Old US 40 just west of SR 19.
From there, we trudged on to Danville, home of Graham Cave State Park. The snow made things a little interesting when we got to the Park. The Park was closed, and as we attempted to turn around, I got stuck in the snow. After a little pushing and help from a towel provided by Carolyn, I got back on the road and headed out of the park. Unfortunately, Carolyn also got stuck at the Park. After almost getting stuck again, we returned to the scene of the incident and, along with Kent and the park personnel-- who were very nice and very helpful, we got Carolyn out of the snow and headed back to Old US 40.
Road and weather conditions required us to get onto I-70. We took that a few miles and got off at the Williamsburg exit (exit 261) and got back on Old US 40 (North Outer Road). Williamsburg clearly used to be a great wide spot in the road; you can still see remnants of old gas stations and a motel. While much of the old town is gone, Crains Grocery and Marlenes restaurant are still there. We had lunch at Marlene’s–some good grub served by some very nice people–and took in the little museum that was there, complete with stuff of the past and a little collection of bobblehead dolls. It was a cool little stop for a cold winter day.
From Marlene’s, we headed west out of Williamsburg on old 40. The weather had been up and down all day, but the road and the conditions were definitely a bit harrowing for a few miles. Nonetheless, we made it to CR Z, where the Booneslick Road veers south from old US 40 and heads SW to Fulton. Fortunately, all the snow had been removed from CR Z, which made for an easy cruise to Fulton.
Fulton is home to Mary Sues alma mater, William Woods College, to the Winston Churchill Memorial, and to a very nice little downtown. It was also the where we found the first easily accessable DAR marker on the route. The DAR markers commemorating the Booneslick Road are located all along the route, marking places which the road passed during its heyday.
From Fulton, we headed NW on CR F, which became CR WW outside Millersburg, and on into Columbia. Columbia is the situs of MY alma mater, Missouri University, and my favorite poolhall in the whole world, Booches. This is an old school poolhall. It is dark, grey, and looks like a smoke filled room without the smoke. There is a line of pool tables going from one end of the place to the other, and there is a wonderful Stag Beer sign hanging on one wall. We got a table (a 9 footer, which impressed Kent all over the place!), and we got a couple of games in for free.
By this time the troops were slightly road weary. We got on I-70 West and took it to where US 40 veered off toward New Franklin and Boonville (exit 121). It is a beautiful drive, and when you come down from the hills to the flats (especially with everything–including the roads–covered in white), you wonder whether or not you are driving into the river. We cruised through this fantasyland till we reached the Missouri River Bridge, crossed into Boonville and went on to our Hotel, the Days Inn in Boonville.
The Days Inn was a very nice place and the folks were quite accommodating. Natalie got a chance to get her ya yas out at the pool and the rest of the crew spent the evening eating pizza, rapping about road trips of the past and ones we have yet to take, and I learned about Chrome Duct Tape, which might don my PT someday. My thought had been to eat downtown at an old roadside attraction, the Stein House Café. However, times spent with friends, no matter where you are or what you are eating, are priceless.
The next day, we ate breakfast at an old friend–the Bobber Truck Stop (across I-70 from the Days Inn on CR cool.gif. It was good to see that the Bobber chain is still around. The one in Sullivan, which we stopped at frequently, was knocked down so they could build a shiny new convenoplex. I would, however, say that ordering off the menu is probably the way to go–the breakfast buffet was OK but nothing special. Right across the street was a cute little mom and pop motel called the QT Inn. I had thought about staying there but did not know anything about it. Now that I have seen it, I can say it is definitely worth a look!
From the Bobber we went into Boonville, which is a sweet little town. It is where the KATY Railroad (of KATY Trail fame) crossed the Missouri River, and is apparently where the Presbyterian Church split over the issue of slavery (this according to a very nice lady who caught us on the street and brought us to her church for a spontaneous tour of a VERY lovely building!). The Presbyterians, according to our guide, did not reunite until 1985. Boonville has a nice downtown, home of the Thespian Hall (the oldest such venue west of the Mississippi), the Stein House Café, and lots of great ghost signage! From downtown we drove to the KATY Railroad Bridge across the Missouri River, which, despite the efforts of the owners to sell it for scrap, is still standing. Thanks to the Isle of Capri Casino’s parking facilities, we were able to park right next to it. It is raised up to allow for river traffic. Right nearby is the Boonville Train Station, which is magnificently restored–easily one of the coolest train stations you will find anywhere!
From Boonville, we crossed the river and headed for the “end of the road”, New Franklin, MO. Actually the Booneslick Road originally ended in what was Franklin, MO (in the 1820's one of the largest towns in Missouri) but the town was relocated to New Franklin due to flooding. Coming into new Franklin, we were introduced to a very cool bridge that took SR 5 across the railroad, which was built in 1940. From there, we proceeded to downtown New Franklin, where we took stock of the cute little town and saw the marker commemorating the start of the Santa Fe Trail. As for the end of the Booneslick Road, it is marked by a very tiny piece of rock at the base of the back of the Santa Fe Marker and is barely even visible anymore. We had to do a little digging to expose it!
From New Franklin, we proceeded back to US 40 and headed East to Rocheport (just off US 40 on “Spur” SR 240), home of Les Bourgeois Winery, one of Missouri’s larger wineries. It is located on a bluff above the Missouri River, and you can get an amazing view of the river from there. Rocheport is an eclectic place; we stopped at an old drug store that had everything from eggs and bread to herbal teas...
From Rocheport, we proceeded back to US 40 and headed East, and ended the tour at the Midway Truck Stop at the intersection of US 40 and I-70. From there, we bid our adieus and went our separate ways.
I think I speak for the group in saying that I am glad we weathered the storm and cruised the Booneslick Road, and I would recommend this trek to anyone!

Pictures to go along with the Narrative can be found at:

http://www.kodakgall...art_cruise_2007

Tsingtao Kip

#2 roadmaven

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:49 PM

Alright, now I'm *really* ticked we got that extra 4" of snow on top of the 10" we already had on the ground last weekend. mad.gif But, it looks like you had a swell time neverthenonetheless. I'm really looking forward to doing a Sweetheart Cruise, as I've heard about the legend of the Cruise for several years. Ahh, we'll see what kind of weather 2008 brings!

#3 DennyG

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:53 AM

Great report & pictures. Like Pat, I'm unhappy that the weather kept me away but glad it didn't scare everyone off. I hope you didn't get into any big money games with that Missouri Whax character. I'm thinking that could be expensive.

All the pictures are good but that opening shot of the marker & courthouse really caught my eye. Nice work. This is clearly a drive I need to make someday. I was kind of hoping that you'd check out the Stein House but can certainly relate to warmth & pizza. Something for the next time.

I hope Carolyn's working on a good story to explain the Jeep!! getting stuck. Are you sure you were supposed to tell about that? biggrin.gif

#4 brownwho63

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:26 AM

QUOTE (roadmaven @ Feb 22 2007, 10:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alright, now I'm *really* ticked we got that extra 4" of snow on top of the 10" we already had on the ground last weekend. mad.gif But, it looks like you had a swell time neverthenonetheless. I'm really looking forward to doing a Sweetheart Cruise, as I've heard about the legend of the Cruise for several years. Ahh, we'll see what kind of weather 2008 brings!



Good story and pics, Kip, and an awesome cruise! Really glad we did it....Bliss

#5 rudkipon66

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 08:04 AM

QUOTE (roadmaven @ Feb 22 2007, 10:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alright, now I'm *really* ticked we got that extra 4" of snow on top of the 10" we already had on the ground last weekend. mad.gif But, it looks like you had a swell time neverthenonetheless. I'm really looking forward to doing a Sweetheart Cruise, as I've heard about the legend of the Cruise for several years. Ahh, we'll see what kind of weather 2008 brings!


I don't think Carolyn will mind--it was part of the trip and she is the good natured type!
Tsingtao Kip

#6 BabyBoomerBob

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 05:04 AM

[quote name='rudkipon66' date='Feb 22 2007, 10:24 PM' post='6426']


Wow! Sounds like a very groovy trip! You're got more courage than I have driving in all that snow:) Us'ns down here in Tennessee don't know how to handle it:)

One little problem. I used the link you provided, but only found pictures of the Highway 61 Roadhouse. Maybe my net navigation skills aren't the best, but I couldn't manage to find the right photos:( Denny didn't seem to have any problems, so what did I do wrong?

#7 DennyG

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:49 AM

It looks like Kip either moved or overwrote them. blink.gif Hopefully he'll straighten us out soon. Maybe that message should have been labeled "Dated Material Inside" just like that old fashioned sort of mail.

Whoa! Now there's another mystery. I know there were two replys from Bliss that seem to have disappeared. The topic had grown to two pages and I went to the first page before replying. Maybe that's what did it. Sorry, Bliss. I sure didn't mean to clobber your replies.

#8 DennyG

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 11:20 AM

That was no mystery. That was my goof.

The two entries from Bliss that I thought were lost posts to this thread were actually posted in a separate thread and are quite safe. I was a little surprised to see what I entered as a reply appear as an addition to my previous reply rather than a separate entry. That's actually kind of cool. Maybe the same thing will happen to this reply.

#9 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:13 PM

As I looked at your photos, I got the impression that a couple of the old brick towns were actually still “in operation.” By that I mean they still had several businesses still going, not just antique stores or junk shops. For example, maybe the drug store in the photo was still operating. Is that true?

Part of the fun of two lane travel for me is the opportunity to step back in time. I’m not big on renovations and re-creations, so a real drug store that still is hanging in there is a must stop for me.

Is Missouri a fertile ground for these interests, or not?

Great grandfather was a Jayhawker in the 7th Kansas Cavalry during the Civil war, and he did some Missouri border raiding as well as bushwhacker hunts in the State. He spent some time around Booneville and moved up and down the Missouri by steamboat. His diary includes many description of the area so I would combine a visit with some visits to sites he describes.

It looks like a Booneslick drive would be a good introduction. Any other suggestions?

#10 brownwho63

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:51 AM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Mar 27 2007, 12:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As I looked at your photos, I got the impression that a couple of the old brick towns were actually still “in operation.” By that I mean they still had several businesses still going, not just antique stores or junk shops. For example, maybe the drug store in the photo was still operating. Is that true?

Part of the fun of two lane travel for me is the opportunity to step back in time. I’m not big on renovations and re-creations, so a real drug store that still is hanging in there is a must stop for me.

Is Missouri a fertile ground for these interests, or not?

Great grandfather was a Jayhawker in the 7th Kansas Cavalry during the Civil war, and he did some Missouri border raiding as well as bushwhacker hunts in the State. He spent some time around Booneville and moved up and down the Missouri by steamboat. His diary includes many description of the area so I would combine a visit with some visits to sites he describes.

It looks like a Booneslick drive would be a good introduction. Any other suggestions?



I believe the drug store in question is located in Rocheport (French for Rockport) and, yes, it's still an active operation. Don't know whether or not they stil fill prescriptions but they sell lots of stuff, including food and soda fountain service. Rocheport is a total time travel experience.

Downtown Boonville is a must-see place and a trip that you won't regret....ghost signs, old buildings, brick side streets, abandoned railroad bridge across the Missouri River, court house, old hotel, etc. And, yes, Missouri is hard to beat for great two laners and "brick" towns. Sedalia, for example, on U.S. 50 is a wonderful old downtown to explore. Washington on U.S. 100 is another - Lexington (just east of K.C.) is another - Jonesburg on old 40 is another - Moberly on U.S. 63 is another - and, of course, the possibilities on Missouri Route 66 are nearly endless for stepping back in time.

Explore Missouri and you may just become another convert. How about starting with our September 66 motor tour beginning in Miami, OK and ending in Sullivan, MO?...Bliss

#11 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE (brownwho63 @ Mar 29 2007, 05:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe the drug store in question is located in Rocheport (French for Rockport) and, yes, it's still an active operation. Don't know whether or not they stil fill prescriptions but they sell lots of stuff, including food and soda fountain service. Rocheport is a total time travel experience.

Downtown Boonville is a must-see place and a trip that you won't regret....ghost signs, old buildings, brick side streets, abandoned railroad bridge across the Missouri River, court house, old hotel, etc. And, yes, Missouri is hard to beat for great two laners and "brick" towns. Sedalia, for example, on U.S. 50 is a wonderful old downtown to explore. Washington on U.S. 100 is another - Lexington (just east of K.C.) is another - Jonesburg on old 40 is another - Moberly on U.S. 63 is another - and, of course, the possibilities on Missouri Route 66 are nearly endless for stepping back in time.

Explore Missouri and you may just become another convert. How about starting with our September 66 motor tour beginning in Miami, OK and ending in Sullivan, MO?...Bliss


It sounds like my kind of place!

September is probably the only month this year we are a little booked. We have our 26th annual reunion with college pals planned in our town (Olympia, WA) in September and we are hosts, so we have our work cut out. But when in September, just in case?

I definitely need to get to Missouri. Your advice is really helpful.

If you are around, drop by the forum chat site at 5:30 PM Pacific time Sunday, April 1 (no April Fool). Another fellow and I are going to discuss establishing a regular chat time to share road trip info. You are the kind of guy we need to give us advice!

I’m also going to invite DennyG and a few others.

Lets Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave

#12 brownwho63

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:40 AM

[quote name='Keep the Show on the Road!' date='Mar 29 2007, 12:37 PM' post='6538']
It sounds like my kind of place!

September is probably the only month this year we are a little booked. We have our 26th annual reunion with college pals planned in our town (Olympia, WA) in September and we are hosts, so we have our work cut out. But when in September, just in case?



Second weekend in September. See Kip's recent Missouri 66 Motor Tour post. You can also periodically check our association's web site - www.missouri66.org

Bliss

#13 DennyG

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 08:26 AM

I had wanted to join the group in February but, in the end, was put off by the weather. I recall getting serious enough to plot the drive to and from and remember believing I could make it a comfortable weekend drive by just taking Monday off. Well, there's a three day weekend coming up and I'm thinking about making up for missing the Sweetheart Cruise with a one man Easter Cruise. But now it doesn't look quite so comfortable.

I guess I must have planned on getting part way home on the second day because a direct drive home from Boonville works out at over eight hours. Doable but hardly comfortable. Plus, after getting within a hundred miles of Independence, I'd really like to take a peek at the Madonna there but that obviously only makes things worse. Looks like I'll either have to postpone this one, attempt a real iron man run on Sunday, or show up rather late for work on Monday. If I end up with #3, some of you may have to write notes to my boss.




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